What is Abuse?

Physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse of one human being by another is unacceptable. The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center believes that all abuse diminishes or prohibits the full expression of life which is the right of every woman, man and child.

Power and Control Wheel

The Duluth Model shows the forms of control that abusers use against their partners/victims (note that she/he can be used interchangeably)

Power and control

Power and control is the main tool of interpersonal violence. Financial control, sexual coercion, isolation, threats and physical violence are all abuse.

Common forms of abuse

Physical abuse is any kind of physical intimidation or intrusion such as pushing, pulling, scratching, hitting, slapping, striking, punching, kicking, choking, drowning, tripping, throwing things, wrestling holds, pulling hair, torturing, burning with cigarettes, cutting etc. Physical abuse can be referred to by other names such as domestic violence, family violence and teen dating violence.

Sexual abuse spans a wide range of unwanted sexual contacts including child sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, fondling, and sexual harassment. While sexual assault takes many forms, a common thread is the loss of power and control that a victim of sexual assault experiences.

Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics such as repeated disapproval or even the refusal to ever be pleased.

Psychological abuse is characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, child abuse and abuse in the workplace.

We can help

HCWC assists victims who have specifically suffered family violence, dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse, or any combination of these.

If you are being abused or have suffered violence and abuse in the past, there is help available. In Hays or Caldwell County, Texas, call us 24/7 at (512)396-HELP. Outside of our area, please see these resources.